Lust, Caution Reviews

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Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 13, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
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Wally Hammond
Time Out
January 4, 2008
Its dark romanticism lingers in the mind.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
January 3, 2008
Overwrought and overlong, Ang Lee's Lust, Caution nevertheless has some moments of exquisite beauty and a potentially star-making performance from newcomer Tang Wei.
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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
November 7, 2007
Lust, Caution asks some patience of us, but our patience pays off.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 3, 2007
In a film where casting is a vital component in the edgy equation, Leung and Tang make a picturesque and dramatically compelling couple.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 20, 2007
There is deception, suspicion and self-delusion, but it all seems rendered at arm's length, despite the consummate artistry of the filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 20, 2007
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David Fear
Time Out
October 20, 2007
Why does this hot-and-heavy love story feel so cold and clipped overall?
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
October 20, 2007
There is plenty of lust exercised in the athletic, don't-try-this-at-home sex scenes between Hong Kong star Tony Leung and the stunning Chinese newcomer Wei Tang.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
October 20, 2007
Both a cannily constructed spy thriller and a grim kind of love story.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 19, 2007
There's too much caution and not enough lust.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
October 16, 2007
The film looks gorgeous but the plotting is clumsy and the acting is flat.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
October 15, 2007
By the time [Lee] gets to the lust, it is too late to throw caution to the winds.
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
October 12, 2007
In the broad strokes and beautiful particularity of its bittersweet love story, Lust, Caution could not come from any other place but China.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
October 12, 2007
A quietly compelling drama of hidden desperation and fierce passions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 12, 2007
Mixing a stately pace with bursts of raw violence and blunt eroticism, Lust, Caution indeed deftly blends those two attitudes.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
October 12, 2007
Overly extended adaptation of a short story about a female Chinese nationalist who uses sex to compromise and trap a cruel Japanese collaborator.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 5, 2007
It's a masterpiece of tangled allegiances and corrupted innocence, equating sexual intimacy with the search for a person's soul. There's no guarantee the discovery will bring joy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 5, 2007
Like the two opposing forces in the title, the book and the film compliment and balance each other; each is, in its way, a rich experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 5, 2007
Stylized and visually arresting, with intense sex scenes that earned the film an NC-17 rating, Ang Lee's Lust, Caution is an immersion into another time, place and mentality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 5, 2007
Intellectually, emotionally, Lust, Caution is all palette and no canvas -- it's an epic on a postage stamp.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 5, 2007
Lust, Caution is a disappointment coming from director Ang Lee, but it's a watchable one, and it rattles around in your head for a long time after you've seen it, as much for what it does right as for where it goes wrong.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 5, 2007
A freeze-dried story has been only partially defrosted.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 5, 2007
The nature of the sex is Lee's subject, and he is too honest to suppress that.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 4, 2007
A brooding meditation on the unnerving power and terrible cost of emotional and political masquerades, the Chinese-language Lust, Caution gets under your skin with its examination of what qualifies as love and what does not.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 4, 2007
It's 158 minutes long, and worth every languorous second.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 4, 2007
A rich, beautifully detailed espionage thriller that captures the bygone days of Shanghai -- and 1940s Hollywood noirs' romantic evocations of same.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 4, 2007
This is one of the major disappointments of the film-going year.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
October 3, 2007
Lust, Caution is one of the few honestly observant political films, totally devoid of retrospective feel-good propaganda.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 3, 2007
It's positively amazing how boring so much sex can be when it subs for character development and compelling narrative.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
October 2, 2007
For all its hothouse passions and sometimes brutally explicit sex scenes, the storytelling seems curiously stolid, the style too movie-ish for its own good.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
October 1, 2007
This is a beautiful film. The cinematography is gorgeous.
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Noel Murray
AV Club
September 28, 2007
Conceptually, Lust, Caution has been thoroughly thought-through, down to every lipstick stain Wei leaves on her teacups.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 28, 2007
Yes, the movie is called Lust, Caution. But what it really needed to be about was incautious love.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
September 28, 2007
I was struggling to stay awake.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
September 28, 2007
Lust, Caution is a sleepy, musty period drama about wartime maneuvers and bedroom calisthenics, and the misguided use of a solid director.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
September 27, 2007
The sex scenes -- intense, affecting and emotionally raw -- are the best thing about this frustratingly limp movie.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
September 27, 2007
Ang Lee's uneven new film is a bit like a Chinese variant on Paul Verhoeven's The Black Book.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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John Anderson
Newsday
September 27, 2007
If Paul Verhoeven hadn't produced Black Book last year, Lust, Caution would have seemed like its own subgenre, the eroto-feminist spy thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
September 26, 2007
Aided by the nuanced, forceful performances of his two leads, [Ang Lee] has made Lust, Caution something to be seen and savored.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 26, 2007
Lust, Caution wants us to feel the erotic ping of buttoned-up people ripping open those buttons, but too often it's the film's drama that's under wraps.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
September 25, 2007
...it's amazing how something so cold is expected to generate so much heat.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 24, 2007
Like Lee's other films, Lust, Caution grows out of a tension between essence and form -- between a person's emotions and the role he or she must play.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
September 20, 2007
[Ang] Lee is a true master, and his potently erotic and suspenseful Lust, Caution casts a spell you won't want to break.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Derek Elley
Variety
August 30, 2007
Too much caution and too little lust.